Notes: There must have been something in the water at the plant where they built the eighth generation Corollas, especially the 1998 and 1999 model years.

Outside of airbag problems being reported to NHTSA, this is about as dependable a car as you’ll find. But good luck finding one; owners say they want a new car, but can’t justify trading in their Corolla because the darn thing just keeps rolling.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,400 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Toyota Corolla steering problems

steering problem

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1998 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments

problem #5

Apr 132015

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Toyota Corolla. While driving approximately 5 mph and making a left turn, the steering wheel suddenly seized and the driver was not able to turn the vehicle. The contact also stated that the speed independently increased and caused the vehicle to crash into a second vehicle. No injuries were reported. A police report was filed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 62,000. Updated 8/21/15 updated 12/4/2015

- Burlington, MA, USA

problem #4

Apr 272009


  • 75,000 miles
While driving her 1998 Toyota Corolla with approximately 75,000 miles on it, my mother experienced steering problems with her car and before she had the opportunity to stop the vehicle it drove off the road and hit a tree. She said the car jerked quickly to the right then left then right again before it hit the tree and it was impossible for her to control it. The car was towed and scrapped before any further examination of the car's erratic behavior could be determined. The vehicle was considered totaled by the insurance company and replaced. The car was well maintained and driven frequently and did not seem to have any steering problems before this incident.

- Eastpointe, MI, USA

problem #3

Apr 222004


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Toyota Corolla. While driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle suddenly veered to the left, as if it were slipping on ice. The vehicle crashed into a median after moving across four lanes of traffic and was destroyed. The contact sustained injuries to her a back, left wrist, hand, bruises and a concussion. A police report was filed. The contact previously noticed that the vehicle would drift to the left from time to time. She had not spoken with the dealer or the manufacturer to-date. The current and failure mileages were approximately 85,000.

- Red Bank, NJ, USA

problem #2

Feb 011999

(reported on)


  • miles
Steering is noisy. Nlm

- Santa Moni, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 041998

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Steering housing cover cracked/makes noise. (qcaw)

- Edgewater, NJ, USA

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